Andreas, Phalula crowned SA 10?km champs

2013-05-20 00:00

UNIVERSITY of Johannesburg (UJ) student Jeromy Andreas (21) is the South African 10 km men’s champion, winning the title in his debut run in Durban yesterday in 29:03.

A track athlete specialising in 5 000 metres, the second year transportation management student won a sprint finish at King’s Park athletic stadium, holding off Namakoe Nkhasi (29:06) with Lloyd Bosman third (29:15).

Andreas, from Eerste Rivier in the Cape, was the SA junior champion in 2010 and came to Durban wanting to run the race in 28 minutes. He has a personal best over the distance of 29:02, a time recorded at a race in George last year.

With the leading pack throughout the race, Andreas and Nkhasi broke away around the nine-kilometre mark, pulling ahead of the bunch. They approached the finish at the stadium running together and it was in the final 500 metres that Andreas put his foot down and surged for glory. The two runners entered the stadium with Andreas a few metres ahead in a dash for the line.

Said Andreas: “I wanted to run a faster time, but without the defending champion [Elroy Galant — who is preparing for the European leg of the track and field season —] the pace wasn’t up to the mark.

“I pushed hard and ran my own race and rate this win as one of my top five achievements. This is one of the best courses I have run in South Africa. It’s fast, flat and the crowd support was great.”

Andreas is no stranger to top flight running, having represented South Africa at the Junior World Championships and heading for Russia in July this year for the World Student Games where his main focus is the 5 000 metres.

“I want to focus on my track running and become a 5 000- metre specialist. I may have won this 10 km race but I don’t enjoy road running,” said Andreas.

“My dream and goal is to make the 2016 Olympics and contend for a medal at the 2020 games.”

The women’s race was won by Diana Phalula in 33:48, going one better from her second place at last year’s championships in Kimberley behind Irvette van Zyl, who missed the Durban run to compete in India. She led from start to finish and crossed the line marginally ahead of a fast finishing Christine Kalmer (33:55) and Cornelia Joubert (34:46).

This is another impressive showing by the 29-year-old who had won the SA Cross Country trials in Boksburg and the Bestmed Tuks 10 km earlier in the year.

She also finished second at the SA Senior Track and Field Champs in the women’s 5 000 m and was hoping to better her personal best 10 km time of 32:52 recorded in Stellenbosch.

Said Phalula: “I was looking for a time closer to 32 minutes but with many of the top athletes missing, I had to dictate the pace.

“I have a slight knee injury and this also hampered my speed. It’s great to win in Durban after finishing third here in 2009.”

Phalula, a full-time athlete from Soweto living on the Vaal, has her sights set on a 10 km race in Morocco on June 1 before heading for Europe for a series of five- and 10-kilometre races.

Men’s Results: Jeromy Andreas 29:03, Namakoe Nkhasi 29:06, Lloyd Bosman 29:15, Xolisane Zamkele 29:18, Benedict Moeng 29:27.

Women’s Results: Diana Phalula 33:48, Christine Kalmer 33:55, Cornelia Joubert 34:46, Mpho Mabuza 35:09, Carry Ann Smith 35:48.

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